Serge Beaumont spoke on this topic among others at the 2009 Scrum Gathering in Munich in his presentation Practical Tools for the Product Owner: Focus, Value, Flow. He describes the Definition of Ready as a negotiation between the Product Owner and the team, where the team ultimately decides if a backlog item (user story) is defined well enough for the team to estimate and implement. His checklist for the DoR for backlog items includes:
- Why? Business Value
- What? Outcome vision
- How? Implementation strategy & cost
- Does the backlog have enough items for 1 and half to 2 sprints?
- Is the size (granularity) of the backlog items acceptable?
Serge also advocates using a kanban board with 4 phases to track the readiness of backlog items:
- Preparing (going through analysis)
- In sprint